This opinion piece was written and submitted by Meghan Jensen.
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The 117th US Congress passed S. 475 Juneteenth National Independence Day on June 16 with 14 Republicans opposing it. While Wyoming has observed Juneteenth as a public holiday since 2003, all members of the United States Congress in the Wyoming delegation voted in favor of this 2021 legislation and Governor Gordon pledges to support it at the state level. .
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Yet, for a few, it was President Biden and he alone who enacted the June National Day law. In Sweetwater County, it is Commissioner Mary Thoman. Fortunately for Sweetwater County, Wyoming, and the United States, the President of the United States is not and should never be a king.
At the June Commissioner’s special meeting on June 17, Commissioner Thoman expressed her concerns about the adoption of the changes needed to enact section 475 at the county level.
She said: “I don’t think we should be dictated by President Biden. If we want to give our employees a raise or a day off, that should be our prerogative. And I’m not in favor of Biden adding more national holidays. Commissioner Thoman’s comments mislead voters and play on the vulnerability of the people of Sweertwater County during an economic crisis, allowing our county to become ignorant of the legislative process by forcing them to believe that it is one person who is. responsible for legislation.
The legislative process is what has benefited our society and protected us from what led America to become the free nation that we should always constantly work to be.
When elected officials like Commissioner Thoman say: “I am not opposed to our people having free time, but we already have 12 federal holidays and this is based on the action of 1865. I think it is. is totally irrelevant for the purpose of proclaiming it.
Not that it shouldn’t be recognized, but how many more holidays could we start adding then. I oppose it ”, we should ask“ Why shouldn’t we celebrate freedom in the United States of America?
We should also all celebrate the ability as citizens to be part of the democratic process, the legislative process and, most importantly, to understand it. Without the legislative process we would most certainly be stuck with a monarchy and by consistently naming the president as sole owner of the legislation we could be dangerously leading ourselves down the path to a monarchy.
Together, let’s celebrate the passage of S 475 here in Sweetwater County knowing that it took more than one person to make it happen and also the fact that freedom is a pillar of our democracy.
The first step in commemorating Juneteenth in Sweetwater County is to remind elected officials like Commissioner Thoman of the legislative process.